The CW, Tuesday 9/8c
Given that Farscape occupies a high slot in both my list of best science fiction shows ever made and best shows of any sort ever made, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’m excited to see his return to television with The CW’s Cult and Syfy’s Defiance. We’ve still got to wait until April for the latter show, but Cult is headed our way Tuesday night, and it looks intriguing and batshit-crazy. It’s a potentially cult TV show about a cult TV show about a cult, which may actually be more than just a cult TV show. Whew.
The show follows an investigative journalist (Jeff Sefton) whose unstable brother vanishes after claiming that a mysterious TV show wants to hurt him. In search of his brother, the journalist begins diving deeper into the world of the show (also called Cult). Meanwhile even those people working on the fictional series itself are uncertain where the lines between fiction and reality lie, including actor Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper), who plays charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm on the show-within-a-show.
If Cult works, it could be a trippy, addictive bit of metafiction that channels shows like Lost or Twin Peaks. Hopefully O’Bannon and his writers have learned the lesson of those series that came before: if you’re serving up a narrative that hinges upon complex mysteries and mythology, be sure you can pay it off. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that O’Bannon and company won’t let us down.
Continuum (Syfy, 8 / 7c) — “A Test of Time”
“Liber8 decide to rebrand their image; Kiera races to save the CEO of a petrochemical company.” That’s a challenge facing any violent terrorist group: marketing.
Argo (Blu-Ray & DVD)
Not science fiction, but this story of a CIA mission to extract diplomatic staff from revolutionary Iran is a great flick, and the true story behind it is truly stranger than fiction.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Blu-Ray & DVD)
If you skipped Syfy’s BSG webseries online, now’s your chance to pick it up on Blu-ray or DVD. Even better, this version includes some extra footage.
“Domino Falls” by Steven Barnes and Tananrive Due
This one sounds like yet another spin on the “zombie story that they don’t actually call a zombie story.” Via Amazon:
It began on Freak Day—that day no one could explain, when strangers and family members alike went crazy and started biting one another. Some thought the outbreak was caused by a flu shot, others that it was a diet drug gone terribly wrong. All anyone knew is that once you were bitten and went to sleep, you woke up a freak.
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Bugging Out”
From the title you might assume the makeup artists will be creating bug monsters, but that’s not right. Well, not entirely right. Instead they’ll be presented with “abstract, microscopic images” to use as inspiration.
“The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius,” edited by John J. Adams
Do you aspire to become a world-conquering Mad Scientist, yet you can’t find just the right approach to enslaving the masses? This anthology could be just what you need. Synopsis via Amazon:
From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses—from their own wonderfully twisted point of view.
An all-star roster of bestselling authors—including Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, and Seanan McGuire…twenty-two great storytellers all told—have produced a fabulous assortment of stories guaranteed to provide readers with hour after hour of high-octane entertainment born of the most megalomaniacal mayhem imaginable.
Everybody loves villains. They’re bad; they always stir the pot; they’re much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the good guys win. Their fiendish schemes, maniacal laughter, and limitless ambition are legendary, but what lies behind those crazy eyes and wicked grins? How—and why—do they commit these nefarious deeds? And why are they so set on taking over the world?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in luck: It’s finally time for the madmen’s side of the story.
“Shards and Ashes” by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, and more
This collection focuses on original stories set in dystopian settings. Via Amazon:
The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few and their courage is tested.
Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.
Stories from: Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Melissa Marr, Beth Revis, Veronica Roth, Carrie Ryan, Margaret Stohl
The Terminator: Remastered (Blu-Ray)
James Cameron’s classic science fiction thriller has already been available on Blu-ray for a while now, but this release sports a snazzy new remastered transfer of the film. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s worth rebuying the movie again for the umpteenth time.
Jericho: Season 4 #2 (IDW Publishing)
Rumors have been stirring once more that Jericho might maybepossiblyprobablynot get resurrected by Netflix, but in the meantime you can comfort yourself as the series continues on the page.
Jake and Hawkins grow more entrenched with John Smith, mastermind of the September Attacks and the only man capable of operating The Precipice-a key element to defeating the Allied States. As Smith spearheads a daring new resistance mission to strike back at the ASA, Jake and Hawkins grow wary of what Smith’s ulterior motives might be. But that’s not all they have to worry about because Smith isn’t just getting involved in their rebellion, he’s finding his own place in the town of Jericho and infiltrating every part of their lives… And there’s nothing they can do to stop him.
Saga #10 (Image Comics)
Bryan K. Vaughn’s addictively weird sci-fi/fantasy mashup continues! “Marko and Alana’s long-lost babysitter Izabel finally returns to the fold, but at what cost?”
Star Trek #18 (IDW Publishing)
As the May 17th release of Star Trek Into Darkness approaches, the ongoing Star Trek comic is revealing the backstories of the Enterprise crew. This issue, it’s Uhura in the spotlight, and we’ll get to see her first meeting with Spock.
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness #2 (IDW Publishing)
Meanwhile, IDW also has this series with is a direct lead-up to the events of Into Darkness. The first issue ended with the dramatic reveal of Robert April, former captain of the Enterprise. What are his motivations, and how will he play into the upcoming big-screen sequel?
Community (NBC, 8/7c) — “Conventions of Space and Time”
Yes, this is the much-ballyhooed episode that takes place at a “Inspector Spacetime” convention, so expect the references to fly fast and furious. Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer guest stars.
“The Different Girl” by Gordon Dahlquist
Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.
Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.
Person of Interest (CBS, 9/8c) — “Relevance”
Guest starring Sarah Shahi – A lethal and sexy government operative who tracks and stops terrorist threats before they occur finds herself on the run — and the new focus of Reese and Finch’s attention. However, their pursuit proves to be their most formidable when they discover that her remarkable skillset equals their own, on.
Dark Skies (In Theaters)
It’s been a while since we had a good “alien abduction” flick in theaters, so I’m hoping Dark Skies will deliver. It’s written and directed by the who who brought us Priest and Legion, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
End of the World (Syfy, 9/8c)
Syfy’s latest masterwork has a bunch of self-described geeks trying to save the world from certain doom by applying the lessons learned in end-of-the-world movies. So it’s basically the sci-fi version of Randy from Scream, except replace Jamie Kennedy with Brad Dourif, Greg Grunberg, and several people you’ve never heard of.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network, 9:30 a.m. / 8:30c) — “To Catch a Jedi”
“Ahsoka makes a deal with Asajj Ventress to find answers about who set her up for murder.”
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 / 8c) — “I Ain’t a Judas”
Last night’s episode was a big improvement over the first episode back from the hiatus, so here’s hoping that trend continues. “Rick and the group are forced to make a decision now that their safety is no longer guaranteed. Andrea feels uncomfortable now that Woodbury has become a police state.”